Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 2

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…somehow it is already November 11th. Yikes. And since it is Sunday, I guess it is time for my to give another NaNoWriMo update. Again, as this post is going up in the morning, I will measure my progress against the word count I needed for the 10th of the month. That means 16,666 words is where I am supposed to be to be on track for the month.

Oh boy. I wish I had a great update to give you all. However, I can say that I did actually manage to write some words. Specifically I wrote some words on my nerdy contemporary romance I’ve been wanting to write. I helped my region’s Municipal Liaison host a write-in this past week while she was out of town.

It was at the write-in, on Wednesday, November 7th. We met up at Panera. Well, I would say we, but the only ones who showed up were myself and my fiance. He started drafting a fantasy series he’s been thinking of writing for a while. It should be a great story; the characters are pretty darn awesome.

As for me, I managed to write 465 words…which I know, isn’t a lot. And it certainly didn’t bring me anywhere close to where I needed to be for the month. But as I looked over the scene I wrote, I felt so darn good, everyone. Seriously. I think I can add a little more detail and substance to the scene in future drafts, but for right now I am pretty happy with what I wrote. And it felt so nice to put words on the page again.

That little burst of writing put my total words written for the month at 607 words. In comparison, I have written 2903 words for blog posts in the past week. Oh, and that total doesn’t count what I’ve written for this post.

So, I definitely need to prioritize my writing for the rest of the month. There is still plenty of time to catch up, but I need to actually set aside time each day to work on creative writing.

With any luck, my update next week will show that I’ve actually been writing.

How are you lovely writers out there doing with your writing projects? I hope you are doing well. That is all from me today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

What I’m Reading (38)

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, it’s Wednesday again already. Awesome. Welcome back to me talking about my reading for the last week…which is probably not going to be the most exciting post, because I don’t think that I have a whole lot to talk about.

What I do want to talk about first is all the lovely people who made comments on my NaNoWriMo update from a few days ago. Thank you all so much for caring and encouraging me. I’ve been away from creative writing for a little longer than I would like to admit, and it was so great to have so many of you help motivate me. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

At the time this post goes live, I will just be getting off work, and then I have to go home and pack up all of my writing gear so I can go to Panera for a local write-in.

But first let’s talk about the little bit I have read in the last week. Well, I have read about another 20 pages of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. And then I managed to get to around the 200 page mark with Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Mansicalco.

For right now, I don’t think I’m going to make plans for books I want to start in the next week. I still have some NaNoWriMo writing to catch up on, and I think these books are going to occupy me for a little bit longer.

How is your week going? Let me know in the comments. I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo 2018 Update 1

Hey all, Dani here.

So am I just going to keep doing NaNoWriMo posts on Sundays? Well, yes, I suppose I am. They may not always be 500+ word posts, because obviously it is November and I need to be focusing my words on my novel, but I also need the accountability of talking about my progress.

Today is the fourth day of November, which means that going by the NaNoWriMo goal of writing 1,667 words per day, I should be at a total of 6,668 words by the end of the day. But since this post will be going up in the morning, to be on track so far this month, I need to be at 5,001 words right now.

Let’s talk about how I’ve done so far this month with my writing.

Day 1 – November 1 – Well, I woke up at 4:30 am to get ready for work, and then I worked from 5:30 am until 4:00 pm. Oh, and it rained all day. It has actually been raining for most of the last few days. Did I mention that rain has a tendency to make me sleepy? So by the time I got home, made dinner, and then settled down to write, I was pretty darn tired. I think I wrote a grand total of 142 words. So, not the best start to NaNoWriMo, but not the worst either.

Day 2 – November 2 – I woke up at 7:00 am, because I get 3 day weekends every week, so Friday is not a work day. Oh, yeah, and the continued rain let me sleep for pretty much 8 hours, which doesn’t happen all that often. I’m still looking for my story notebook. It has my list of the scenes I need to write to finally finish one of my books, and I decided to work on that before focusing on my new writing project. But after cleaning the apartment yesterday, not everything is where I remember it. So yeah, I need to find this notebook so I can get writing.

End of day update…still no luck finding the notebook. Oh, and there was that five hour chunk of time where we went to our local nerd store to run our bi-weekly D&D sessions.

Day 3 – November 3 – Woke up around 6:30 am today. Still no notebook, but there is blog prep work to do, so let’s get to writing some of those. If only I could count blog words towards my monthly total. My November Calendar Girls post is well over 1000 words. Sadly I can’t do that.

The other bi-weekly D&D session we are in is today, and one of our fellow players likes to come over two hours before the session begins. So, he’s here at like 10:30 am. He and one other player stay after the session to just talk and stuff too. They don’t leave until 8:30 pm. That is a huge chunk of my day gone, especially since the sessions are supposed to be from noon to maybe 5:30/6:00 pm.

Still no actual novel writing accomplished. Three days in and I have 142 words. This is really starting to suck. I think this may be my worst start for NaNoWriMo…and this is my 13th year doing it.

Day 4 – November 4 – Again, I wake up at 6:30 am. Well the clock says 6:30, but we just did the whole Daylight Savings thing, so the clocks fell back an hour at like 2:00 am, so really, my body feels like it is 7:30 am.

For the record, my Calendar Girls post stands currently at 1355 words. Yeah, that is almost what I would need for one day’s worth of writing.

Okay, we went to my mom’s house and I managed to find a backup notebook with my outline so I think I can finally get into writing. I have a lot of catching up to do. It’s time to get writing.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Signal Boost, Writing

October Wrap Up and November TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I had to mostly pre-write this post, because it is now (or will be when this post goes live) November and I need to prioritize writing my novel over writing my blog or reading for fun. So I don’t know if I’m going to have a huge TBR for this month. But that’s okay, because my wrap-up for October should show that I did plenty of reading.

Endless Quest: Big Trouble by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Endless Quest: To Catch A Thief by Matt Forbeck (5 stars)

Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill (5 stars)

Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion Fire and Beauty (4 stars)

My Hero Academia, Volume 15 by Hideo Horikoshi (5 stars)

My Hero Academia Vigilantes, Volume 2 by Hideyuki Furuhashi (5 stars)

Fairy Tail Zero by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Fairy Tail, Volume 3 by Hiro Mashima (5 stars)

Rule by Ellen Goodlett (4.5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 1 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 2 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 3 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 4 by Nagabe (5 stars)

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil a Run, Volume 5 by Nagabe (5 stars)

All the Feels by Danika Stone (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 2 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Black Clover, Volume 3 by Yuki Tabata (5 stars)

Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge (4 stars)

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (4 stars)

The Monster of Selkirk: The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton (4.5 stars)

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (5 stars)

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel (4 stars)

Make a Nerdy Living: How to Turn Your Passions Into Profit, with Advice from Nerds Around the Globe by Alex Langley (4 stars)

Whew…that was a nice list of books finished this month. I am also trying to prep up a bunch of reviews from all of these reads so they can be posted throughout the month and beyond. I actually have a huge list of reviews I need to write, so I may have quite a few posts coming for the rest of the year.

Okay, now onto what I’ve watched this month. Honestly, not nearly as much as everything I’ve read. So let’s just jump into the list: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl — 4.5 stars, The Magicians, season 2 — 5 stars, Hocus Pocus — 5 stars, Halloweentown — 5 stars, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge — 5 stars, The Spiderwick Chronicles — 4.5 stars.

Obviously I have my usual ongoing watches, namely Fairy Tail and Critical Role Campaign 2. The Fairy Tail watch has slowed down a little bit, because I watch it with my fiance and he has recently been distracted by the new Spider-Man video game.

It’s book haul time!

Oh, and if I’m talking about my book haul from October, I guess I should also briefly mention my unhaul from October as well. I ended up removing 94 books from my library.

Now this is where my wrap-up post usually features my monthly Owlcrate unboxing…but my post office delivered my Owlcrate to another apartment in my building, and the package was apparently stolen from that other apartment’s doorstep. I was so excited about the October box too. It featured exclusive Owlcrate editions of both Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. So I have filed a stolen package claim because the package was insured, but since the box was sold out, I’m betting I won’t be able to get the lovely signed editions anymore.

Finally, it is time for my November TBR. This is definitely a tentative TBR, because I should spend more time focusing on writing than reading. But the next round of the Manga Madness readathon is coming up next week, and I still have a decent stack of books I’d really like to read, so…these are books that I may or may not get around to this month.

Okay, well that is all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo Prep 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starts in just a few more days. Ahhh…I don’t know that I’m ready yet. This is probably the least prepared that I have been in all my years of NaNo. But I’ve just been so out of practice with creative writing. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to write consistently through November. It would be really nice.

I just keep seeing all of these BookTubers who also write, and they talk about finishing drafts, or finishing edits. One just got her first bound ARCs for her book, and I got so happy for her because that is a big deal, but also sad because I feel like I’m starting to fail even more on my own writing journey.

So what am I doing for planning/plotting/prepping for NaNo? Well, I had some basic chapter title ideas written down, and some very loose character names. But looking at the names, some of them just didn’t fit…so I’m combing through character name databases or baby name databases trying to find names that do work.

But then I feel like I want to get a rough synopsis written. So I’m trying to get a draft of that finished today as well. But then that makes me wonder if I should play with Photoshop a bit and make a mock-up of a cover for inspiration purposes.

I also know that I need to come up with a writing playlist for this book too. I like to have songs that will inspire me for the actual plot of the book I’m writing. So I need to find at least 10-12 songs that work.

What I’m I working on this year? Well, as if it isn’t enough of a challenge for myself that I’m trying to get back into creative writing again, but I’m also going to be tackling a genre I don’t typically write in…and by that I am talking about romance. Basically my book is going to be a nerdy contemporary romance.

I’ve been inspired by my real life romance, and while I have been seeing a little more geeky and nerdy YA contemporary romance books, I think we could still use more of them. And honestly I think my book will be probably more New Adult to adult in age range. The characters all feel like they are in their low to mid 20s or so. I mean, I just turned 30 this year and my fiance is 26. So the characters will probably be around that range as well.

But I’m still so nervous about this project. I want it to be a great story. This is a tale that is near and dear to my heart, because in many ways it is a story I wish I could have read several years ago, when I was feeling so alone and believing that I would never find my own nerdy fairy tail romance. In many ways I feel like perhaps I am putting too much pressure on myself for this story, and that is making it harder for me to actually sit down and write.

However, NaNoWriMo is almost here, so hopefully I can push aside my inner editor and just write. I want to get this story out into the world.

Oh, and if you have any song ideas that you think would fit a geeky couple contemporary romance story, then please suggest them to me in the comments. I would be glad for the help.

Are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo? If so, are you ready to start writing in a few days?

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

Plans for the Rest of 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

I am making some plans for the remainder of 2018, and I really need your help to follow through with some of them…well, one in particular. So thanks for reading this post, and as a warning, it may get a little ramble-filled. We’ll see.

Anyway, my first planning category is obviously reading. My current Goodreads Reading Challenge goal is 100 books, but seeing as how I have finished 93 books already this year, I’m thinking I’ll need to increase this goal a little bit. I’m going to be a little conservative, and probably bump my goal up to 120 books.

Next up for my plans over the next few months is blogging, naturally. I’m doing pretty good with having my Wrap-Up/TBR post each month, as well as my Calendar Girls post each month, so those are definitely sticking around. I also plan to continue with my What I’m Reading posts each Wednesday. They are pretty easy to put together little by little through the week. Since I’m still reading quite a few volumes of manga, it is likely that I will be able to continue with my Manga Monday reviews (with the exception of the first Monday of each month, which is the Calendar Girls post day). What I hope to do is to also have one other post each week, whether that is a review or a book tag or something. Most likely reviews, because those are really starting to pile up on me.

Finally…here is the part where I need your help. Writing. I used to write all the time, working on drafting novels and then edit them, with the hope of publishing. I have been in a pretty big writer’s block for the past couple years, at least when it comes to creative writing. The truth is that I really miss writing. But now that I’ve spent so long not writing regularly, I’m struggling to get back into it. I just stare at my notebooks or my word document on my computer…and nothing happens.

So my plan is to spend the next six weeks trying to do some planning and preparation. Maybe some writing exercises to try to get used to creative writing again. Then, in November, I will participate in NaNoWriMo again. The last couple years I have still completed the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November, but a lot of it has been forcing out words that honestly end up being 90% garbage.

That’s where I need your help. I need people to keep me accountable for my writing. People who will bug me in comments here on the blog and/or on social media. I need people to ask how my writing is going, and to keep asking me.

What I’d like to do is to start writing this novel I’ve been dreaming of for a little over a year now. Ideally I would write at least 50,000 words in November and then keep writing in December and on until I finish the novel.

I’ll probably try to do a couple writing posts between now and the start of NaNoWriMo (with some more random writing posts throughout this writing process). One of those posts will likely be some vague chatter about this novel that I plan on writing with a reader survey included.

So, can you help me out, my lovely online book friends?

Thanks for reading, everyone, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Releases, Book Review, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost, TBR Purge, Writing

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Signal Boost, Writing

Goals for 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here we are, a whole week into the new year already, and I am just now getting a post up where I talk about my goals for the year. Normally I would have had the post up already, but with the schedule I had figured out a month or so ago, this was the best I could do.

Last year I had a similar post, but I called it my 2017 Bookish Resolutions. So it seems fitting that I just continue that trend and talk about things I want to continue doing or improve on over the next twelve months.

First up: Reading. Obviously this is a big and important part of my life each and every year, which is probably why I list it first. Typically I started my reading goal at 75 books, but the past few years I have always increased the goal a couple times or so after reaching it with months left in the year. I still think this is a very doable goal, and I look forward to sharing my reading experiences with all of you. And part of sticking to this goal will be doing readathons. Right now I am already doing the Manga Madness Readathon, which is happening this week. I also plan to keep an eye out for 24 Hour Readathons from both Zoe Herdt (@readbyzoe on Twitter and YouTube), and @24Hourathon on Twitter. Then, of course, there is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October.

Second: Blogging. Another big part of my life the past couple of years is this blog. 2016 may not have been a super popular year for my blog, but I felt like I grew a lot in 2017 and I started posting a lot more and interacting even more than that. So I look forward to seeing what is to come in 2018. I’m working on creating a book tag, and I hope you will all enjoy that. Plus, I am continuing my weekly recommendation posts, and as always, throw out more suggestions for themes/topics/etc for these posts. Also, I have a nice backlog of book tags and other post ideas that I’m hoping to get to, so I’m hoping to continue having lots of nice content on here for all of you.

The third item on my list of goals is: Writing. This has been the hardest resolution or goal to stick to the past couple years. Yes, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and continued to win, but I know I could and should be doing more. There is a book inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out for the past year, so I’m honestly hoping I can get a decent draft of it finished in 2018. I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m doing though. And honestly, a little motivation could help me out too. So, if you think about it randomly throughout the year, ask how the writing is going for me in the comments. I used to do some of my most regular writing back when I posted it online chapter by chapter using fictionpress. And it goes without saying, though I will say it now anyway, that I will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year.

Finally: Bookstagram. I only posted to Instagram a handful of times in 2017, and I feel really bad about that. Taking photos, particularly of books, is something I have enjoyed, so I need to try and get back into that again. Though, I suppose part of that would include bringing some of my Bookstagram photo props to my apartment instead of abandoning them at my mom’s house. I will start to post more on there; I promise. You can find me @danielle.thamasa on Instagram.

Okay, okay, so I guess technically I have a fifth category and that is goals for my non-bookish life. Because, let’s be honest, 2017 was a pretty good year for me away from this blog as well. My guy and I met, started dating, and moved in together. Now we are making more and more plans for the future, and it is kind of awesome. Right now we are definitely planning to attend all four days of Gen Con in August 2018, so that will be fun (it will also be my 30th birthday weekend so yay!), and we may even be going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this fall. We have to see if it will fit in the budget. So I am looking forward to a year of more board games, anime, video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and just cuddling up on the couch with my favorite guy.

I know there’s not a whole lot of concrete goals for this post. I’m not saying that I’m going to post a certain number of times each week, or that I’m going to write a certain number of words or for a certain length of time each day for my novels. I’ve been doing pretty good at having around 5 posts each week on the blog, but there could be times when work or life keep me from posting that much. At the very least I know that I will have a post or two up each week, but as much as possible I’m going to try and maintain my current posting schedule. Hopefully. And for my writing, I think it’s enough to say that I would like to have a whole draft finished for the book I’ve been wanting to write. It doesn’t set me up with a word count goal, but I still have a general idea of how much work I need to put in to achieve it.

What about you guys? What goals do you have for 2018? I would love to hear all about them in the comments, or even a link back to your own post (if you’ve already written one up).

Book Review, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

November Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I realize right now some of you may be thinking that I forgot to add the TBR portion for this post. Normally you would be right, but as I am participating in Books and Munches’ Diverse December, I already have my TBR posted so you can check that out here.

Which basically means that all I have to cover with today’s post is the books I read this month, my OwlCrate unboxing, my monthly book haul, and then a brief NaNoWriMo wrap-up.

The Accidental Quarterback by Charles Curtis (3 stars)

The Impossible Pitcher by Charles Curtis (4 stars)

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (5 stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Illustrated Edition by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) (5 stars)

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (5 stars)

The Chronicles of Exandria, Vol 1: The Tale of Vox Machina by Matthew Mercer, the cast of Critical Role, and around 60 very talented Critter artists (5 stars)

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 1 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (5 stars)

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #3 by Matthew Colville (5 stars)

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell (5 stars)

Corduroy by Don Freeman (5 stars)

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (4.5 stars)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (5 stars)

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (4 stars)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzko (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 2 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Runaways, The Complete Collection, Vol 1 by Brian K Vaughan (5 stars)

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (5 stars)

I will have mini-reviews of the children’s books up soon, as well as a few more comic and manga reviews. Oh, and my review for The Girl in the Tower should be up on Monday.

Next up is my monthly OwlCrate unboxing, and I absolutely loved the November box.

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My favorite items in the subscription box this month are the Expecto Patronum hat and the lembas bread bar of soap. Though my Fabrikator pin from the Grishaverse is really cool as well. And I am really looking forward to reading the book; it sounds really interesting.

Now onto my monthly book haul, and everyone, I may have gone a teeny bit overboard with my haul this month. On the plus side, I don’t think there are that many books for me to worry about in December. That’s great because I already know that January is stuffed with books I want to get.

 

Oh, and then I did some Christmas book shopping for my boyfriend’s 5 month old niece. This little girl already has an impressive library, and it will only continue to get better with each birthday and Christmas we have. So, I might as well haul her books on here too, especially since I decided to reread them myself before wrapping them up for her.

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So I actually did pretty good with reading during November/NaNoWriMo. Speaking of NaNoWriMo, during my mid-month check in I reported that I wrote nothing the first half of the month because I couldn’t get the words to come out and I was in a bit of a writing slump. But I have yet to lose a NaNoWriMo, so I finally forced myself to get writing.

What I have now that the month is over, is roughly 51,000 words of a haphazard journal/diary of random words tossed on a page. It’s basically absolutely awful and will not be shown to anyone. But I plan to just open up a new document in the new year and start a second draft from scratch. Maybe now I will be able to write a better and more cohesive story. I’ll keep you all updated if the writing goes well, especially if I get to the point of publication.

So yeah, I succeeded for the 12th time with NaNoWriMo…and somehow still managed to read 20 books. (Okay, yeah, there were a handful of children’s books, plus all the comics and graphic novels, but still). Suddenly the idea to read 14 books in December doesn’t seem all that daunting.

How did your November go? Any great books read? Or did you buy some fantastic books that you can’t wait to read? Let me know in the comments.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

NaNoWriMo Update

Hey all, Dani here.

Perhaps this should be titled something more appropriate…like “I’m Completely Failing at NaNo This Year” or “How to Catch Up When You’re Behind.” Basically, I am really really behind on my word count this year.

To put this in perspective…I finally started working on my novel yesterday, so my word count is nothing too exciting.

In comparison, I have written 12,432 words on this blog so far this month. Oh, and that does not include the words written on today’s post.

Now, you may be wondering what my NaNoWriMo word count is. I’ll tell you, but you have been warned that it is low. My current word total is barely 1000 words. Yep, that’s right. I still haven’t even reached the goal for day one yet.

What that means is that I have a lot of catching up to do. But I know I can do it. I’ve been this far behind before, in several sessions of NaNo actually. In a majority of the last few years I have written 20-30K words in the final three or four days of the month. In my past 11 years of NaNo participation, I can honestly say that I have had several days where I wrote anywhere from 10-14K in a single day.

So, while catching up could be difficult, I also know that it is possible. I suppose what I mean this to highlight for any of you falling behind on your word count is that you are not alone, and you can still come out victorious by the end of the month.

Today I’m going to share just a few online writing tools that can help you increase your writing productivity.

First up: 750 words. This is a helpful site for year round writing. It technically has a site wide goal of writing 750 words each day, but I still find the reward system to be helpful for NaNo. Basically there is a scoring system based on bowling. For each day you achieve the goal of 750 words you earn a strike for the day, and for every day where you write something but don’t reach 750 words, you earn a spare. But more than that you can earn badges for writing several days in a row, for writing in the morning or the evening, for writing without stopping, and more. Sometimes working to earn badges can keep you motivated.

Next is for people who like positive reinforcement and rewards. Try Written? Kitten!  Don’t let the super simple site design scare you off. This can be a super helpful resource. Okay so you set a goal of 100, 200, 500, or 1000 words, and every time you hit that goal amount, you are rewarded with a picture of a cute little animal. The site has options for kittens, puppies, or bunnies, but there are also directions if you would like to choose a different animal.

Finally, for those of you who need that little jolt of panicked adrenaline if you stop writing, my favorite writing resource is Write or Die. I can’t even say how many words I’ve written because of this site. Actually, using this site was what started getting me in the habit of writing 10,000+ words in a day. I have purchased the desktop versions for the original Write or Die and Write or Die 2, and apparently Write or Die 3 is out now. But for the people who don’t want to pay like $10 for the desktop app, you can use the web version for free any time. Write or Die lets you set up either a time limit or a word goal, and also a grace period before any consequences begin. You can set it for annoying sounds, having your screen turn red, or even a mode that starts randomly deleting vowels (at least those were options with version 2). Write or Die 2 also saw the release for reward based writing instead of just consequence based, but I like that the negative reinforcement of the red screen or the nails on a chalkboard sound effects to keep me writing. Simply put, I don’t want to see or hear those things and so I just write and write and write until I’ve reached my goal.

So can I reach the 50,000 word goal by the end of November? Well there’s only one way to find out. I need to get a lot more writing in. So I’m off to put in a few sessions on Write or Die. Hopefully I can start catching up now that I’m finally ready to write.